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Build Back Better plan would be more than paid for, economists say

The cost of President Joe Biden’s spending package would be more than offset by cost-saving measures and new taxes on corporations and the wealthy, according to a nonpartisan analysis released Thursday.

By Josh Israel - November 04, 2021
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Text of Build Back Better Act

President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better wide-ranging spending plan would actually bring in more revenue than it would cost, a new analysis of the plan finds.

On Thursday, the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation released an estimate of the new plan’s budgetary effects. Its experts reviewed the House version of the plan and found that it would bring in about $1.476 trillion in new tax revenue over the next decade. This would come largely from new revenue from corporations and individuals making over $400,000 annually.

As a result, the plan would actually lead to a $945 billion net gain in revenue over the next 10 years, the committee’s analysis found.

The Joint Committee on Taxation is not controlled by either political party; rather, it is staffed by independent economists, attorneys, and accountants “who assist members of the majority and minority parties in both houses of Congress on tax legislation,” according to its website.

Last week, Biden announced a new framework for his administration’s $1.75 trillion Build Back Better plan that would include historic investments in health care, home care, clean energy, child care, pre-school, and expanded child tax credits.

Republicans in Congress have attacked the latest version of the plan with the baseless claim that the plan would massively increase the national debt.

“The Build Back Better plan is actually just a huge entitlement package that will result in skyrocketing debt and deficit,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) tweeted on Wednesday. 

House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-MA) noted Thursday that the bill actually includes many cost-saving measures, including a crackdown on rich tax cheats and a provision that would reduce the price of some prescription drugs covered by Medicare.

Economist Seth Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, observed that enhanced IRS enforcement would likely mean about $400 billion more in projected tax revenue, while the drug price reduction would save $250 billion. The $1.75 trillion spending bill would actually save the U.S. government about $2.15 trillion over 10 years, according to Hanlon.

This confirms what the Biden administration has been saying: The legislation would actually save more than it costs, thereby reducing the nation’s budget deficit.

The Joint Committee on Taxation’s analysis proves it is “solidly paid for,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Thursday that the Joint Committee on Taxation’s analysis shows the plan is “solidly paid for” and that she hopes to bring it up for a vote on Friday.

No Republican member of Congress supports the plan in its current form.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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